Adventures, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Last Minute DC Gifts

Photo courtesy of
‘Zipcar ad’
courtesy of ‘Karon’

So like me you’ve waited until the last second and now you’ve got to hazard the crowded shops and DC streets to finish up your Christmas shopping. You’re fairly limited with online shopping opportunities, you have no time for brainstorming, and you’ve got a gazillion other things to do, so you’ve got to put your nose to the grind stone and pound these last little (or big) tidbits out. Lucky for you, and me, there are plenty of cool DC-related gifties out there waiting to be scooped up.

Many of us will be heading through Union Station today and the shops there offer some fantastic last minute gift pick up opportunities.  You can find historic memorabilia and inauguration items at America!’s Spirit, or small paintings, pottery and jewelry at Echo Gallery Mezzanine Kiosk, or perhaps Lids, where you can pick up a Redskins or Capitals branded baseball cap. There’s also a solid wine and spirits shop that can provide that much needed Jameson for eggnog or bottle of bubbly for Christmas morning drinkypoos.  These shops are a hurried travelers delight and are definitely worth checking out, if you’re still gift hunting or needing to fill up those stockings. Continue reading

Talkin' Transit, The District, Travel

Going “Clear” at Dulles

Security lines suck. There is just no other way to describe it. Imagine any other location where you are dragging luggage behind you, trying to juggle papers, and then have to take your shoes off to get somewhere. If Metro started enforcing rules like that, there would be a riot in most of DC.

The biggest problem with TSA security is how long it takes. (I’m going to ignore the “gigantic” problems for now – I’ll hold my TSA ranting for later.) Arriving at an airport is a crap shoot – you could fly through security, or you could wait an hour for a single lane. And, as a frequent traveler, that drives me crazy. It’s a lot of time I could be using doing something useful – like blogging.

So, after seeing the Clear Lanes expand in to Dulles, and then working my way towards the $128.00 fee (most of which is paid by my company), I decided to take the plunge and find out how much faster this new system is.   Continue reading

Talkin' Transit, The District, Travel

Diamond Lanes at Dulles

My job puts me on the road.  A lot.  And, because I fly from DC, I’m a United Airlines Frequent Flyer.  For those of you in the know I’ve been a 1K for five years now. For those of you that don’t know what that is – let’s just say I get in a lot of airplanes. So one day Tom asked me “what is it like to travel out of DC?” and after a lengthy explanation he asked me if I would blog about it. So here goes…

Dulles is always under construction. Let’s just assume that is a constant. The benefit is that construction means that there are always new things happening and changing at the airport. Normally they fall in to the category of “oh no” or “not again”. I’m sure I will write about a few of those later.

Imagine my surprise to find a good change! Dulles has something new called the “Diamond Lanes”. These lanes are supposed to be for “frequent travelers (2 or more times a month)”. And – put down your coffee before continuing – the lines are really short! That’s because they are difficult to find. The Diamond Lanes are downstairs in arrivals (baggage claim). To find them, head over to Door 4. There, about 50 feet from the Clear lanes and the Employee lanes, is a new security section. Voila, you just found the back door. Continue reading